MLB Rumors

Giants' Madison Bumgarner to take the ball on Tuesday
by Chris Cwik |

Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner will take the ball when the team opens spring games on Tuesday, according to

While Bumgarner will start the game, he's only expected to throw one inning. "I'm looking forward to getting out there, facing some hitters and getting back into competition at game speed, playing baseball," Bumgarner said. "But right now, it's just about making sure you're ready to compete whenever the season starts."

Bumgarner is also expected to start for the team on opening day once the regular season begins. He posted a 2.98 ERA over 217 1/3 innings last year.

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Christian Bergman motivated by Rockies' pitcher signings
by R.J. White |

Rockies pitcher Christian Bergman chose not to feel slighted when the team added several rotation options this offseason, reports.

"It motivates me in a sense, but when I achieve the goals that I want to achieve, that could go away," Bergman said Saturday. "Then you have to find new motivation. I like to motivate myself with more internal things than what other people say, because that changes -- day to day, even."

Bergman made three starts and four relief appearances during the Arizona Fall League, going 2-0 with a 4.34 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 18 2/3 innings, and chose to work on elements of his game against the quality competition.

"I worked on particularly my cutter and curveball, some basic stuff -- particularly getting back on top of the ball, getting everything going downhill," Bergman said.

Bergman, who missed two months last season due to a broken hand, went 3-5 with a 5.93 ERA and 31:10 K:BB ratio in 54 2/3 innings over 10 starts in 2014.

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Diamondbacks' Jeremy Hellickson dealing with rib cramp
by Chris Cwik |

Diamondbacks pitcher Jeremy Hellickson had to cut a bullpen session short on Saturday due to a cramp near his ribs, according to

Hellickson doesn't expect to miss any time due to the issue. "I feel fine. It's more of a cramp than anything. It was a precautionary thing to shut it down," Hellickson said. "It doesn't even hurt right now.

The team will evaluate Hellickson on Sunday, and that will determine whether he takes any days off. Manager Chip Hale said the team's trainers do not expect Hellickson to miss any time as of right now.

The 27-year-old posted a 4.52 ERA over 63 2/3 innings last year.

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Tigers to use Kyle Ryan as a reliever this year
by Chris Cwik |

The Tigers view pitcher Kyle Ryan as a reliever this season, according to

Ryan pitched five games in relief with the club last year, but made one strong start against the White Sox late in the season. Despite the success in his one start, manager Brad Ausmus said the team will look at Ryan as a reliever. "We're going to use him, at least at the start of Spring Training, out of the 'pen," Ausmus said. 

Throughout his minor-league career, Ryan was mainly used as a starter. He posted a 2.61 ERA over 10 1/3 innings in the majors last year. 

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Dodgers' Erik Bedard to start spring opener
by Chris Cwik |

The Dodgers will turn to Erik Bedard during their spring opener on Wednesday against the White Sox, according to

Bedard isn't expected to open the season in the team's rotation, but should be used as depth in case the club loses a starter at some point. The 35-year-old posted a 4.76 ERA over 75 2/3 innings with the Rays last year.

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Diamondbacks' Tomas to see time at third and in the outfield
by Chris Cwik |

Diamondbacks infielder Yasmany Tomas will play third and in the outfield this spring, according to

Tomas has mainly been used as a third baseman early in camp, but has started to shag balls in the outfield during batting practice. The club plans to use Tomas in the outfield once spring games begin. The idea behind the move is to give the Cuban infielder as many at-bats as possible. "We've told Tomas that if there's a day when he is not going to play third, we're going to put him in the outfield just to get at-bats," manager Chip Hale said.

Tomas was mainly used as an outfielder while in Cuba, but Arizona is attempting to transition him to third. He's looked raw in fielding drills during camp, but both Tomas and Hale remain cautiously optimistic about the move. "It feels like it's been a long time since I played third base, but I like the position and I feel good about it," Tomas said.

The 24-year-old is expected to earn a starting spot with the club to open the season.

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Yankees' Brendan Ryan (back) making progress
by R.J. White |

Yankees infielder Brendan Ryan is making progress in his recovery from a strained back muscle, he told Saturday.

"It's no big deal," Ryan said. "I've had a lot more serious issues in my back before. I wasn't too concerned. It being February, let's just make sure."

Ryan is taking treatment and expects to resume baseball activities next week.

"I don't know what they're going to allow me to do," Ryan said. "If not batting practice, maybe some baseball stuff. I imagine they might baby-step me into it. We always want to jump right back into it. I'd imagine some dry swings or hit off the tee. We'll see.

"I don't want to speak for them. That's how I get in trouble."

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Rockies' Tulowitzki, Gonzalez to start running bases next week
by R.J. White |

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez are slated to start running the bases next week, reports.

The team is taking it slow with both players after they lost a significant part of the 2014 season to injuries after undergoing surgeries in August. Neither player will see time in Wednesday's Cactus League opener.

"There are still some things they need to do on the field before they're even ready to go into a game -- running bases, specifically," manager Walt Weiss said Saturday. "Last year, we'd have been very happy with the way they're at right now when we thought about their recovery and everything they had to go through. With where they are now, we're very encouraged by it."

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Twins' Kurt Suzuki fine after taking pitch off kneecap
by R.J. White |

Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki said he would be fine after taking a pitch off his kneecap area Saturday, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Ryan Pressly slipped while attempting to deliver a changeup during a live batting practice session Saturday, and the ball crossed up the catcher.

"It was my fault," Pressly said. "I just slipped on the mound and yanked a changeup down. The ball caught (Suzuki) in the meaty part right between the shinguard and the padding. There's a little spot where he's vulnerable."

Manager Paul Molitor said Suzuki wasn't added to the team's post-workout injury report.

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Girardi: Yankees 'taking it slow' with Carlos Beltran
by R.J. White |

The Yankees are taking things slow with outfielder Carlos Beltran, and he won't be rushed into full throwing drills until he indicates he's ready, reports.

"We're just taking it slow," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's done some throwing. We don't feel, with five weeks of games, there's really any reason to rush him. Guys do their work. But let's make sure he feels really good where he's at and we feel really good about where he's at."

Beltran had a bone spur removed from his elbow in October. He dealt with the issue throughout last season and hit just .233/.301/.402 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI in 403 at-bats. Beltran has performed light throwing drills and taken part in batting practice since reporting to camp Wednesday.

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